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KwaThema is located in Gauteng
 KwaThema shown within Gauteng
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Country South Africa
Province Gauteng
Municipality Ekurhuleni
Established {{#property:P571}}
 • Total 13.93 km2 (5.38 sq mi)
Population (2001)[1]
 • Total 99,517
 • Density 7,100/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2001)[1]
 • Black African 99.7%
 • Coloured 0.2%
First languages (2001)[1]
 • Zulu 56.8%
 • Sotho 8.7%
 • Northern Sotho 8.6%
 • Xhosa 8.6%
 • Other TN%

KwaThema is a township south-west of Springs on the East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established in 1951 when Africans were resettled from Payneville because it was considered by the apartheid government to be too close to a white town. The new township's layout was designed along modernist principles and became a model for many subsequent townships, although the envisaged social facilities were not implemented. The typical South African township house, the 51/9, was one of the plans developed for KwaThema. A black local authority with municipal status was established in 1984. In 1985 KwaThema experienced violent unrest and right-wing vigilante activity.

KwaThema is a multi-racial township where most of South Africa's eleven official languages are spoken but the predominant ones are Sotho and Zulu. KwaThema has given birth to many successful individuals who have helped in the development of the town.


kwaThema was named after Selope Thema who was a South African political activist and leader.[2][3]

Famous KwaThemans

  • Andries Maseko (1955 – 2013), South African footballer
  • Hilda Tloubatla (b. 1942), South African mbaqanga singer
  • Eudy Simelane (1977–2008), South African footballer and LGBT-rights activist, raped and murdered in the town[4]
  • Lucas Sithole (1931–1994), South African sculptor
  • Nelson "Teenage" Dladla Tutu (born 10 June 1954),South African Footballer
  • Simon "Tsipa" Skosana(1957-2009), SA bantamweight champion
  • Rolly Sidima Xipu (b. 1953), South African lightweight champion and trade unionist


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Main Place KwaThema". Census 2001.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Olive Schreiner Letters Online". Retrieved 2015-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Richard Victor Selope Thema | South African History Online". Retrieved 2015-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Kelly, Annie (12 March 2009). "Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores 'corrective' attacks". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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